- "Today is a good day to be dead!"
- —Zacharias the Everliving.[1b]
Little is known of the life of Zacharias before he succumbed to the lure of the necromantic arts.[2a] He studied under the tutelage of Dieter Helsnicht[1a][2a], the infamous Doom Lord of the Undead, a Necromancer expelled from Middenheim who now launched attacks on that city from a fortress in the Forest of Shadows. Whilst Helsnicht busied himself with tactics and raising armies, Zacharias took note of his surroundings. He saw they were not the first to work powerful necromancy in the forest. He saw strange flows in the Winds of Magic, which led him all the way to the tower of the Necrarch Lord, Melkhior the Ancient.[1a]
For weeks, Zacharias observed the tower and its guards, plotting to break in through the crypt at the tower’s base to steal the Vampire's grimoires.[1a][2a] He magically blinded the Undead guardians to his presence but was captured by Melkhior’s living servants before he had even made it inside.[1a] Zacharias was brought before the Vampire, who saw the great potential inside him and granted him the Blood Kiss.[1a][2a]
The newly created Necrarch was horrified by the changes his body underwent and swore to take revenge on his father-in-darkness.[1a][2a] Knowing he was too weak to confront the ancient Vampire, he bided his time and studied like a good pupil[1a], and so began to embrace the power which Melkhior had bestowed upon him.[2a] Each night the two would rise and Melkhior would warn Zacharias that he grew bored of his company and that he would probably kill him before dawn, but every night the pupil surprised the master with his dedication and growing power.[1a][2a] Melkhior taught his acolyte everything he knew, but never let Zacharias near his precious Book of Nagash.[2a]
Melkhior was mad, even by the standards of Necrarchs, and would periodically fall into rages and slaughter his living servants, bathing in their blood and drinking it in a great feast of flesh.[1a][2a] Zacharias was wise and always avoided his master's wrath. It was during one of these occasions that Zacharias boldly crept into Melkhior's chamber. There on a great plinth was the unholy tome.[2a] Unfortunately for him, Melkhior was not as unaware as he seemed[1a] - he returned to his chamber whilst his pupil was still reading and a great fight ensued.[2a] Invigorated by the blood of his dead slaves, Melkhior was too powerful for Zacharias, who barely escaped with his life into the wilds, nursing his wounds.[1a][2a]
Deeply wounded Zacharias fled into the Middle Mountains. For the following year he was pursued by the minions of Melkhior. From one cave refuge to the next he would flee, tired and severely emaciated from lack of blood; he would no sooner find a suitably secluded hiding place than his location would be discovered.[2a] Zacharias fed on wild animals wherever he could, but the constant running exhausted him.[1a] Finally, he stumbled into a large, dark cavern where he found a small niche deep inside, and there he fell into a sound slumber. Totally exhausted from the fight with Melkhior and the constant pursuit of Melkhior's dark servants, Zacharias' rest was to last for over a decade.[2a]
During this time a Black Dragon also discovered the cave. Unaware of the Undead abomination which slept within, she made her nest there and, as do all Dragons, gathered a small mound of treasure around her.[2a] When Zacharias awoke, his thirst was great and the sleeping Dragon was a perfect source of nourishment. Finding soft exposed flesh on the Dragon's underside he bit deep into the slumbering monster. The blood of the great beast flowed through the veins of Zacharias, empowering him with untold strength. Such is the might of a Vampire that even a Dragon is unable to wake from his deadly bite. Over the following month Zacharias drank from the great beast, draining it clean of blood.[1a][2a] In doing so, he discovered the secret previously known only to Abhorash and his Blood Dragon kin. Zacharias became free of the thirst for blood and was filled with unholy power.[1a] Using the dark necromantic powers he had learnt from Melkhior he raised the Dragon from death and flew on its back to Melkhior's hidden keep, where he fought a great battle with his master. It is said that so powerful were the magic forces unleashed that the tower was all but destroyed. When the dust and debris cleared Zacharias was the victor.[1a][2a]
Of Melkhior no one knows of his fate; some say he was slain by Zacharias, who drank his blood to gain further powers. Others believe that Melkhior is in hiding, licking his wounds whilst plotting revenge on his former pupil. Whatever Melkhior's fate was, Zacharias claimed all of the magical wealth that his master had acquired and hoarded over his long rule of terror, including the powerful Book of Nagash.[2a] Zacharias now rules over the Forest of Shadows from a rebuilt keep, studying the books so long denied to him and both the Orcs of the mountains and the people of the forest live in equal fear of the vengeance of Zacharias the Everliving.[1a][2a]
The End Times
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During the opening months of the End Times, Zacharias allied himself with Dietrich von Dohl, the self-styled Crimson Lord of Sylvania. Von Dohl was primarily concerned with usurping the von Carsteins, while Zacharias had his own, mysterious motives.
Ultimately, the Crimson Lord rode up to the gates of Castle Sternieste, and demanded that Elize von Carstein hand all its treasures over to him. He was accompanied by Zacharias, and the Necrarch, in particular, had seemed unusually intent on getting into Sterniste's vaults. When Elize denied them entry, von Dohl had been beside himself with rage. The battle that followed was brief but brutal.
Long-dead warriors had clashed amidst the barrow fields as the Drakenhof Templars held their lord's fortress against his enemies. Elize von Carstein duelled with von Dohl's lover, Cicatrix atop the gatehouse, trading sword blows with the other woman. Zacharias and the Crimson Lord had only retreated once Elize struck the Vampiress's shrieking head from her shoulders.
Fleeing to the ruins of Vanhaldenschlosse, Zacharias would not be seen again until after the return of Nagash. The Necrarch defied the Great Necromancer till the end, and met his doom because of it. Facing Arkhan the Black, the sky above had been wracked by spasms, and the Vanhaldenschlosse chewed to steaming wreckage by the confrontation between Vampire and Liche. Zacharias held off Nagash's army alone with only his magics for days, before Nagash bestirred himself to end the conflict. In the end, Zacharias perished at Nagash's hands, strangled in the ruins of the Vanhaldenschlosse and his remains cast upon the pyre...
Zacharias the Everliving rides a Zombie Dragon, wears the Circlet of Rathek (whose jewel has the power of invoking on the bearer the protection of the gods of lost Nehekhara), wields the Staff of Kaphamon (an ancient artifact uncovered by the nomads of Araby under the sands of the Great Desert) and carries the Scrolls of Semhtep (arcane papyri inscribed with long formulas that trigger powerful counterspells) and one of the Books of Nagash.[2a]
- 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Ed.: Night's Dark Masters
- 2 Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (6th Edition)
- 2a: pp. 72-73
- 3: Warhammer: The End Times Collection